1917: The true story about a World War 1 soldier


Keegan Honig

Mikenna Borie is excited about new release of 1917.

Patrick Hanley, Staff Writer

The newest historical rendition of a World War I event was recently released and titled 1917. 1917 is a true story based on the accounts of the director Sam Mendes’ grandfather’s story, Alfred H. Mendes. 

In the film, two Lance Corporals, Blake and Schofield, are ordered to carry a message across “no man’s land” to Colonel Mackenzie. The letter was urgent as Mackenzie’s regiment was about to attack a German platoon that had already retreated back to the Hindenburg Line. Therefore, the squad would be massacred, and Blake’s brother was among the squad. 

The filmmakers ended up digging their own trenches, a particular symbol of World War I combat. Paul Biddiss, the film’s Military Technical Advisor, also a British military veteran, taught the actors proper saluting and weapon-holding techniques to bring that authentic feel to the movie. He also used instruction manuals from World War I to make the camps seem as realistic as possible. 

Typically, the job assigned to these two would be deemed too dangerous, yet this was an exception as it was urgent. For example, in “no man’s land,” poison gas, barbed wire, and enemy sniper fire were far too prevalent for people to be constantly running through the area.

My official opinion: If you like history movies, this is a good one to watch. The whole movie is shot to make it seem as if it is all in one-take, further adding to the historical feel of the film. It’s very action-packed, and while paying attention to the extras, there was excellent detail as well with the extras. Throughout the movie, soldiers are always up to something in the background, whether it be throwing sandbags, playing cards, checkers, or simply relaxing.  

Adam Graham of Detroit News had this to say about 1917: “It’s a tense, unnerving ride that accomplishes its goal of translating the first-person experience of war better than any war movies that have come before it. It’s a level up.” Along with this review, he gave 1917 an “A.”

Freshman Tristan Miller says about 1917: “The movie was good overall. The main thing that caught my eye was the camera work.”